Entrepreneurial

TechStars raises the ante in the startup accelerator race

– Mark Boslet is a contributor for PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

Interest in seed stage incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurial funds continues at full bore, with companies, firms and universities all getting into the act.

Vodafone early this month opened the doors of its Silicon Valley research center to startups with the hope of encouraging faster innovation on its network.

Carnegie Mellon University, not to be left out, kicked off an accelerator at its Silicon Valley campus last month to give students a hands-on approach to entrepreneurialism. Menlo Ventures showed its determination last week by unveiling a $20 million Talent Fund designed to permit quick fundings of up to $250,000 to promising startups.

Now TechStars is increasing its bets in an effort to keep pace with industry guru Y Combinator. The incubator with locations in Boulder, New York, Boston and Seattle announced today $24 million in new funding from the Foundry Group, IA Ventures, Avalon Ventues, DFJ Mercury, SoftBank Capital, SVB Financial Group, RRE Ventures, Right Side Capital Management, TechStars Alumni, and several individuals.

Notes on raising seed financing

– Chris Dixon is the co-founder of Hunch and of seed fund Founder Collective. This blog originally appeared here. The views expressed are his own. –

I recently taught a class via Skillshare (disclosure: Founder Collective is an investor) about how to raise a seed round. After a long day I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and I stayed well past the scheduled end time. I think it worked well because the audience was full of people actually starting companies, and they came well prepared (they were all avid readers of tech blogs and had seemed to have done a lot of research).

I sketched some notes for the class which I’m posting below. I’ve written ad nauseum on this blog (see contents page) about venture financing so hadn’t planned to blog more on the topic. But since I wrote up these notes already, here they are.

Entrepreneur’s tweet sparks fight with angels

– Connie Loizos is a contributor for PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

Last month, entrepreneur Matt Mireles published a tweet, asking: “Why is TechStars NYC run by a non-entrepreneur?”

The “non-entrepreneur” in question is 29-year-old David Tisch, whose grandfather built Loews into a Fortune 100 company that operates hotel chains, and whose family’s largess has helped bankroll numerous institutions, including the Tisch Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Since 2007, the young Tisch has been seed-funding startups with his brothers. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also started two Internet companies, both of which were shuttered in less than a year’s time.

TechStars’ founder predicts accelerator implosion

Less than two months from launching its New York program, TechStars co-founder David Cohen is already anticipating a critical mass being achieved in the startup-mentoring space within the next five years.

Cohen said that when he and two friends first launched TechStars in Boulder, Colorado four years ago there were just a handful of these accelerator programs. Now he said there are upwards of 60 across the country and he expects that to triple before the bubble bursts.

“There will be a run up to a couple hundred and then we’ll probably see a run down to 10 would be my guess over the next five years,” said Cohen, who has expanded TechStars to Boston and Seattle in recent years and has invested in more than 70 startups since launching the program. “There will certainly be a little mini accelerator bubble.”

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